Arsenal might not be able to win the Premier League this season, although they can effectively end Manchester City’s hopes of claiming the title on Sunday, especially if Manchester United manage to beat Liverpool in the other Super Sunday game.
Roberto Mancini’s side sit seven points behind the Red Devils going into this weekend’s action and can ill-afford any further slip-ups, although they lost at the Emirates last season and only managed a 1-1 draw at home to the Gunners earlier in the campaign.
Arsenal are marginal favourites at 8/5 (bet365) to claim victory and bolster their chances of a top four finish this season, something that was always going to be a tall order after the departure of the talismanic Robin van Persie.
It appears that Theo Walcott will sign on the dotted line rather than potentially join the Dutchman at Old Trafford, with Arsene Wenger hoping to see the forward start repaying some of that expensive contract on the table and the England man is a 13/2 chance with Paddy Power to score the first goal of the game.
At Swansea last weekend, Walcott was dropped back to a wide position and it’s possible that Olivier Giroud will be employed in attack against a City defence which hasn’t been keeping too many clean sheets this season.
Even so, we are talking about the English champions who have only lost once on the road all term and that was a recent reverse at Sunderland where the visitors carved out lots of chances but failed to find the back of the net.
The Citizens are a 9/5 chance (BetVictor) to claim all three points in north London although they will be missing Sergio Aguero and the absence of Yaya Toure might also be felt after the Ivory Coast international jetted out to the African Cup of Nations which leaves a gaping hole in the midfield department.
It seems too much of a risk to play Mario Balotelli for a fixture in which he was sent off last season, although Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez should pose plenty of problems for the Arsenal defence and City are capable of keeping the shackles on the home team’s attacking players.
Perhaps it will be a cagey encounter considering neither team ultimately wants to lose the contest, with the draw on offer at 5/2 with bet365 and it was a single goal that settled the contest last season. BetVictor are on hand to offer a terrific 11/1 that the game ends with a 1-0 to the Arsenal ring.